Resolving NRI Property Disputes through Family Settlement

Property is one of the most disputed assets worldwide. And it should not come as any surprise considering the Real-Estate values are skyrocketing everywhere. In India, the property disputes are prevalent mostly due to the joint family system. Most of the property disputes in India are known to be disputes over inherited property. Disputes can arise over any aspect of the inherited property. Some of the common reason of dispute over property are:

Failure of Intentionality – In case of inheritance by will, a dispute may arise if any person having considerable interest in the property has been left out of the property. He/ she can contest the claim in the court questioning the validity of the will.

Perceived Inequality – Dispute can arise over a will if the beneficiaries are not satisfied with the distribution of the property. Similarly, a dispute can arise in case of intestate deaths among the legal heirs of the deceased on the property share. Non-Payment of liabilities – Dispute can arise with the third property over non-payment of dues of the deceased.

Disturbance with the original will – Dispute can arise if the will provides for a non-family member as the biggest beneficiary. In most of the cases, the legal heirs can challenge the will on the grounds of forgery and misrepresentation.

Heading to the court for resolving is the most sought-after way and it is rightly so. What cane better than a court of law to settle disputes? Family settlement is a less consuming way of dealing with family dispute where family members come together for the resolve, with the head of the family or a legal professional as the mediator. The process of Family Settlement and the requirements to make it legally valid has already been discussed in the previous article. In this article, we will draw a comparison between the Court Settlement and the Family Settlement.

Time – It is a very commonly known fact that court cases can go on for years, making the entire road to an accepted resolve long and tiring. Even then, one can not be assured of getting the favourable result. Whereas Family Settlement takes much less time and the decision is taken only if all the members agree to it.

Familial Relationships – Court cases batter the familial relationship to a great extent. Such is the extent of anonymity that siblings break all the ties with each other. Whereas in the case of family settlement, the dispute is resolved with a mutual understanding, not letting the family bonds die completely.

Expenses – Court battles are long drawn and thus are very expensive. People often lose more than they are about to gain in court cases. Whereas, Family Settlement is not expensive at all, as there is no legal requirement for formal setup or any professional for it. Getting a professional as mediator is the choice a family can make, and even then it thundered times less expensive than court settlement.

Legal Binding – There can be no question over the legal binding of a court settlement. For a family Settlement to become legally binding, certain legal formalities must be completed. The family settlement agreement needs to be signed by all the members of their own free will and to get it registered.

Future Recourse – In case, the petitioner is not satisfied with the decision of the court, he can seek redressal in the higher court. If a family is unable to arrive at a decision through Family settlement, a court case is the only way left for resolving the dispute.